It’s been awhile, but it’s back: The roundtable is making its return for the 2018 season and it couldn’t come at a better time than the bye week.
If you’re unfamiliar with our roundtable or how it works, check out some of our (relatively) recent discussions:
- Will Detroit sign Matthew Stafford to a contract extension before the start of 2017?
- How can the Lions win the NFC North in 2017?
- Who is the Lions least-replaceable player outside of Matthew Stafford?
- What are the expectations for Kenny Golladay in his rookie season?
- Will the Lions be positioned for the playoffs after Week 9?
- What is the most interesting camp battle in Detroit?
- Should the Lions’ 53-man roster carry 4 tight ends, or 5 wide receivers?
The Detroit Lions are currently 2-3 on the season, and as injuries are starting to test the depth of this roster, the team’s getting a much needed break from play this week.
There’s no better time than the bye week than to explore—and by proxy exhaust—all of the talking points surrounding the team. Speaking to the depth on this roster, this is Bob Quinn’s third year as general manager, and this season is starting to paint a clearer picture of just what kind of success he’s experienced at the draft.
There have been both hits and misses from Quinn’s picks, but with a divisional victory last week, good vibes are here to stay, as you can see from his bounceback numbers in this month’s approval poll.
Who is the most valuable draft pick of Bob Quinn’s tenure as Lions general manager?
Kent Lee Platte: Frank Ragnow looks like he may be an anchor on this line, but for me right now, this early in the season, it's looking like Da'Shawn Hand. Hand has well outplayed expectations, and with a rookie mid-round deal, he could be a building block for a defense that will need to address its line in both free agency and draft this coming offseason.
Andrew Kato: Kent is right that Ragnow looks like he will be a solid addition to the offensive line, and he joins two other Bob Quinn picks from 2016 on that unit: Graham Glasgow and Taylor Decker. I love Glasgow and the head tap, but if i’m picking an anchor for the future of the offensive trenches, it’s probably Decker. We don’t talk about him as much anymore due to the scrutiny of Ragnow as the fresh new hotness, but that’s a good thing: it means Decker isn’t screwing up and Matthew Stafford gets to live.
Jeremy Reisman: The key word here for me is “valuable.” Valuable doesn’t just mean getting the most out of the draft position, but getting a player that can contribute in different facets of the game. After all, how often have we heard the word “versatile” or “multiples” from this coaching staff?
If there’s one guy that defines the word value, it’s a guy who contributes on offense, defense and especially special teams. It’s a guy who earned a spot on the All Pro team in his rookie year—as a fifth-round pick, no less. That man is Jamal Agnew.
Kent: Agnew is pretty awesome. Hoping this injury won't sap his speed much, he's the only player on this roster who can not only contend with but best Darius Slay in pure speed.
Andrew: The fact that now the coaching staff is working Agnew into regular defense as a contributor makes him tremendous value. If Ryan had asked the question differently and prodded us for the “best” or most “unexpectedly awesome” draft pick from Bob Quinn, it would be a toss-up between Agnew and Kenny Golladay for me. I am pretty sure Kent was the only one who knew how good Golladay would turn out, and both of those picks I recall wondering what the hell the front office was thinking. So glad to have been so wrong about both of them.
Jeremy: I was going to shut down the site if someone didn’t mention Golladay soon. Dude is going to be a No. 1 receiver if he isn’t already.
Kent: I don't mean to brag (lies), but I did call Golladay being picked by the Lions a round or two earlier than expected (which I've mentioned as often as Stafford and Clayton Kershaw going to school together). Not so humble brag aside, Golladay is an elite athlete who had tremendous hands in college despite being thrown the football by what amounts to converted cornerbacks. His final season saw him catching passes from four different guys, each worse than the last. Getting someone like Stafford must have seemed like winning the lottery to Kenny G19.
Ryan Mathews: If there’s one thing I do know about the Lions offense, it’s that the skill positions are in good shape no matter where the Lions find themselves after free agency next year i.e. when Golden Tate signs for the big monies (h/t Kato) elsewhere—which he totally deserves.
Sure, the Lions need to add a more capable-of-anything tight end to the roster after Quinn swung and missed on Michael Roberts in 2017—and this draft might be the right time to do it with more than a handful of tight ends considered to be top-100 prospects—but man if it isn’t hard to choose between Golladay and a name no one has brought up yet: Kerryon Johnson.
Kent: How often do rookie running backs come in and match feats only Barry had accomplished? Johnson is legit, though his usage hints that they're tentative to utilize him more due to either health or some other factor.
Kellie Rowe: It’s because Auburn used him too much so the word “workhorse” got thrown around—I think the Lions are worried they’ll hurt ‘em or burn him out. But like you say, Johnson’s my pick for this one. From what we’ve seen, he’s already on a trajectory to break at least Lions records, if not league records.
Ryan: The reason I brought up the team’s offense being in a good place with their skill position players is because even though the likes of Tate, LeGarrette Blount, Ameer Abdullah, and Theo Riddick may be gone next year, the two best players at those respective positions are Golladay and Johnson respectively, and that’s absolutely a feather in Quinn’s hat.
The most valuable draft pick for this team in the here and now, through Week 5 of the 2018 season is without a doubt Ragnow. There’s something to be said about Matthew Stafford being one of the most-sacked quarterbacks of 2017 to being one of the least-sacked quarterbacks this year. And there’s something to be said about the Lions running game going from dead last in the league at 3.4 yards per carry to 14th in the league at 4.3 yards per carry this season.
The offensive line would not be what it is this season without Ragnow, and everyone else is the better for it.
Mansur Shaheen: If we are basing this off of pure value alone then a sixth-round pick who plays as a replacement-level starter for two years is worth a shout, right? Anthony Zettel is no longer around in Detroit but it’s hard to say the Lions didn’t get any value out of him.
For players actually on the team, though, I’d have to say Golladay. A third-round pick developing into one of the team’s biggest threats despite the two incumbent starters on the Lions already being major free agent splashes. One could argue Golladay is the best receiver on the team at the moment, and with his physical profile he should only get better over time. It’s tough to pick anyone else above him for me.
Alex Reno: We’ve barely even mentioned Da’Shawn Hand, which is tragic. I know it’s pretty early in his career, but if we’re going to talk about Kerryon Johnson and the run game, then we should talk more about the only defensive lineman who is consistently doing anything with the new scheme. Quinn had to be active and trade up for both of these guys rather than having them fall into his lap, and I have to give him a ton of credit for that.
But as for the most valuable, I think it has to be Kenny Golladay. I underestimated that pick—I was also dead wrong about that entire draft, and this is why immediate draft grades suck, or I suck, or both. Even the people who loved the pick didn’t think he would turn out to be THIS good. Right now, he’s Stafford’s No. 1 receiver, and having a second-year player—a former third-round pick—turn into that for you in an offense with a ton of weapons is about as much value as you can possibly get from a Day 2 pick.
Also, if you see anyone calling Golladay by the nickname of “Babytron,” report them to either myself or the police. Thank you.
Hamza Baccouche: Oops, I’m late, but I’m going to hop on your hype trains. I think at the moment it has to be Kenny Golladay. This season he has very clearly morphed into Stafford’s most trusted target and we’re seeing Golladay get 50/50 looks that Stafford doesn’t even throw to Marvin Jones Jr.
Give it a year or so, however, and I think it’ll definitely be Kerryon. Once this staff trusts him as a bell-cow back, I think we can reasonably expect him to be a top 10-12 running back in the league. Either way, it’s clear that Golladay and Johnson are both future centerpieces of this offense and the team as a whole.
Who is Bob Quinn’s most valuable draft pick?
This poll is closed